In May 2012, The Verge writer Paul Miller quit the Internet for a year.
That year is almost up.
It sounds like it was pretty awful.
Throughout the year, Miller wrote columns about the experience and than had someone else at The Verge post them online for him.
In his latest column, Miller says that he had planned to write a book about his year away from the Internet, but that he’s now struggling with what it should be about.
Leaving the internet was so great… at first. It was the relief of pressure that I’d wanted for years. No more push notifications, no more calendar invites, no more reply-all’d email threads, no more retweets, friend requests, text messages, or rabbit holes. I was alone with my thoughts, I had all the time in the world to read books and frolic outdoors in the beautiful spring and summer days of 2012. I was more productive, better looking, and perhaps even taller than during the six years I spent as a professional tech writer.
But then old habits reared their ugly heads. Time-wasting habits like video games and pulpy sci-fi novels, and then more disturbing signs like a general avoidance of social activities. I’ve watched every decent movie in my corner store’s Redbox, and half of the shitty ones. I’ve spent more time than you could imagine in this past year simply laying on my couch. Like, just laying there.
These don’t make for catchy book titles:
- No Internet, No Life: The Paul Miller Story
- How To Disconnect From Reality In 365 Days
- At First I Liked Not Using The Internet But Then It Got Kind Of Sucky
On May 1, The Verge is going to host a live event where Miller logs back on. The publication is asking for readers to send ideas for the first thing Miller should look at on his return.
He sounds like he could use some cheering up.
So, getting a little meta, we recommend Miller look at this funny GIF of a sad person at a football game who realises she’s being caught on camera, and then smiles:
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